Over the past few years, I’ve been deeply moved by the way I’ve watched family, friends and neighbors pick up the pieces after losing loved ones. How humans rise above their grief is remarkable on the whole and unique to each of us. For some, it is a quiet, insular, personal experience. For others, community involvement and action serve the purpose of tamping down the suffocation of loss and allowing us to breathe again.
One such “take action” type of initiative was recently launched in my community and Coffee Lunch Coffee seems a perfect venue to share it with others throughout the world. The effort is called “Connected by Kindness” and honors the life and legacy of a fellow Kansas Citian, Brian Hayhow, who passed away due to a heart condition just over a year ago.
Here’s how Connected by Kindness works: You do a random act of kindness. Examples could include taking donuts to the local fire station, picking up the restaurant tab for another table, babysitting for free for someone who could use a break, helping an elderly neighbor with yard work, sending a care package to a member of the armed forces, taking cookies to your co-workers… whatever you’re moved to do.
Even if your action is anonymous (e.g. you buy the coffee for the person behind you at the Starbucks or McDonald’s drive thru), you give the recipient of your kindness a Connected by Kindness card. The card explains that your kindness is done in Brian Hayhow’s honor and asks the recipient to pass the card along with a kind gesture of their own.
People who receive your kindness are encouraged to visit ConnectedByKindness.org to share where they received the card and how the kindness made them feel.
Over the coming months and years, as the cards and the kindness travel from one person to the next, from one state to the next, from one country to the next, the ConnectedByKindness.org website will document and report on the impact created with each card. In this way, Brian’s – and all of our – legacy of kindness will live and grow. In Brian’s case, when his baby daughter is old enough to understand, she will look at the website and see that even though he’s gone, her daddy is still making the world a kinder, better place.
For a limited time, the Hayhow family is making several decks of the Connected by Kindness cards available at no charge! Click here to receive a deck of 52 Connected by Kindness cards (one for each week of the year!) of your own.
And, with or without the cards, please consider extending a touch of kindness to those around you. As you complete these acts of kindness – or are (or have been) the recipient of someone else’s kindness – please share your experience with ConnectedByKindness.org and also, here, at CoffeeLunchCoffee.com. Happy Connecting!